John Barry

Their Man in Washington

Pakistan's Ambassador Husain Haqqani is the diplomat who must get America and Pakistan to see eye-to-eye.

Damascene Diplomat

America's man in Syria has been quietly demonstrating how to use diplomatic force against regimes.

The Defense Rests

As Robert Gates retires from the Pentagon top job, he sounds a grim warning: America is losing its grip.

Zbigniew Brzezinski Discusses Egypt Protests

As President Jimmy Carter's national-security adviser during the 1979 fall of the shah in Iran, Zbigniew Brzezinski has dealt intimately with history-bending revolutions. After mass protests deposed a regime in Tunisia and later spread to the streets of Egypt and Yemen last week, NEWSWEEK's John Barry talked to the Johns Hopkins professor about the way young people across the Arab world—many of them disaffected and disenchanted—are now connecting on the circuits of a new revolutionary age.

Budget Cutters Face Big Questions on Military Cuts

Deficit cutters almost all agree that Pentagon spending will have to take a serious hit in 2011—and for the foreseeable future. The cost of defending the U.S. has doubled since 9/11, to nearly $700 billion in the current fiscal year. But what to cut?

DADT: Now the Really Hard Part Begins

Hold the celebrations. Congress's repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" is a victory for civil rights. But it's only the start of what are likely to be difficult, even tortured, months or possibly years, as the military struggles to adapt to the new law.

How the DEA Tracked Viktor Bout

When celebrated Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout landed last Tuesday night at Stewart International Airport in upstate New York—before being whisked to Manhattan to appear the next day in front of a district-court judge—it marked the end of a saga known to the Drug Enforcement Administration as Operation Relentless. The man who ran it tells NEWSWEEK the affair began with a challenge from the White House.

The Air Force's War-Toy Wish

As Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Ga., plant prepares to begin building the 187th—and last—F-22 super-fighter, the military is already dreaming of its successor. In a query to the aerospace industry earlier this month, the Air Force laid out its wish list, and it wants everything: a plane that can win dogfights, demolish air-defense missile networks, support ground troops, and run surveillance missions; a partial prototype would be ready by 2020, with entry into service by 2030.

India: A Delicate Dance

Beyond exports, Obama is pushing to rebuild U.S. alliances across Asia, particularly in response to China's rise. That will be a major theme of the entire 10-day swing through India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan.

New Docs Shed Light on Cold War

During a few tumultuous months in 1989, Soviet tanks pulled out of Eastern Europe, communist governments there collapsed, the Berlin Wall fell—and the Cold War ended without a shot fired.

Britain Ponders Deep Military Spending Cuts

No other NATO ally has the ability—and willingness—to deploy forces like Britain. Which is why the Pentagon is standing by with a sense of foreboding as the U.K. undertakes a formal review of its defense posture. The question now arising in certain circles is how much backup America can count on after the recession-battered British government makes deep cuts to its military budget.

A New Weapon in the War on Terror

The land battle in Afghanistan grinds on, but the drone war is accelerating. So far this year there have been 62 reported strikes against Afghan Taliban and affiliated insurgent groups in Pakistan. This compares with 53 strikes in 2009 and 35 in 2008, according to local media and the Pakistani military.

Beware: Combat Will Continue in Iraq

There is a real risk that President Obama's claim in his Oval Office address that "the American combat mission has ended" in Iraq may come to rank with President Bush's ill-judged boast of "mission accomplished" back in May 2003.

Why Gates Seems Set on a 2011 Departure

So Robert Gates is set on retiring from government—for the second time. Or so he says. In an interview with, he has repeated more firmly than ever his desire to resign as secretary of defense sometime in 2011.

WikiLeaks Documents Confirm What We Already Know

Researchers confronting the giant heap of 92,000 documents from Afghanistan just dumped by WikiLeaks may think they will reveal something about the U.S. military's actions. But the preliminary answer is that there is less to the documents than meets the eye.

Afghanistan: Can This War Be Saved?

Almost as soon as President Obama announced that U.S. forces would start leaving Afghanistan in July 2011, a text message began zipping between Afghan insurgents' mobile phones. "Mubarak," it said—Arabic for congratulations. "If you are a believer, you will be a victor," the message continued, quoting the Quran. Then the kicker: "The enemy president is announcing a withdrawal of troops who will leave our country with their heads bowed."

Will McChrystal's Dismissal Lead to a Wider Shakeup?

Why should President Obama's shakeup of his Afghan team stop with the firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal? After all, some of the harsh comments the general and his aides made about policymakers, while perhaps insubordinate and disruptive, were not necessarily wrong. Tragically, they reflect a broader truth: Afghan policy is in disarray, and the people behind the policy are at odds with one another.

What General McChrystal's Comments Really Tell Us

Generals demand that political leaders respect their professional expertise. In return, it's expected that generals understand the multiple pressures weighing on their civilian leaders, and respect—even if they don't agree with—whatever compromises these pressures dictate. At this point, can McChrystal and Obama reconcile their differences?

Why Obama Can't End Nukes

This Spring, Barack Obama will push toward his goal of a nuclear-free world. But the stiffest resistance may be at home.

Do We Still Need a Nuclear 'Triad'?

For the first time in almost 40 years, the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and Russia are unregulated by a mutual treaty: START—the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty—expired earlier this month.